Damon Allen finally closed the door on his extraordinary football career.

But he didn’t lock it.

While he announced to a packed press conference yesterday at a Bay Street lounge that he was, in fact, retiring after 23 years in the CFL, he left open the possibility he might answer the call if a team needed someone to temporarily fill in for its injured quarterback.

“When that time comes my ears will be open,” he said following an eloquent, emotional farewell. “That’s the kind of situation where I wouldn’t be surprised teams would think of me due to the fact I understand the game and I’m someone they wouldn’t have to teach a whole new offence.

“But if the situation is not right, I’m going to say no.”

The 44-year-old led four teams to Grey Cup titles in his sure-to-be Hall of Fame career while becoming pro football’s all-time passing leader.